Jacob Heafner readies ARCA Menards Series debut at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla: The biggest race of Jacob Heafner’s young career is set for this Saturday.

Heafner, an accomplished short track racer from North Carolina is poised to make his ARCA Menards Series debut in the series’ biggest race of the season in Saturday’s Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire at the famed Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

And although the 20-year-old is a rookie when it comes to the heavier stock cars used to compete in ARCA competition, the Dallas, N.C.-native tested at the famed 2.5-mile superspeedway last month more like a tamed veteran guiding his No. 77 Ford Fusion to the 10th quickest time overall during the two-day test session led by team owner and championship crew chief Chad Bryant.

While Heafner realizes the situation will be totally different this weekend in his series’ debut, he’s embracing the opportunity to learn and turn heads on Saturday afternoon.

“I can’t begin to say how huge of an opportunity this is for me and my career,” said Heafner. “I’m paired with a lot of smart people who bring fast and winning race cars to the track and I’m the lucky guy that gets to sit behind the wheel.

“I’m not sure what all to expect for my ARCA Menards Series debut, but I definitely want to earn the respect of my competitors and be around for the finish.”

Knowing that 80 laps will go by quick thundering around the “World Center of Racing” in about 50-seconds, Heafner is relying on his team led by Bryant to help limit his mistakes.

“It’s a big deal to come to Daytona,” added Heafner. “I want to have zero mistakes both on the race track and on pit road. I plan to really use my spotter to my benefit and listen to not only his guidance but the tips he’s giving me from up top. I realize that I (still) have a lot to learn, but I feel like between the team and I – I can have a good showing and look for more races on the horizon.”

When asked of his goals for Daytona, Heafner was quick to respond.

“Finish,” he quipped. “I’d love to have a top-10, that would feel like a win, but I want to finish this race and bring the car back in one piece for Chad and the guys and all of those pitching in to put me on the track.”

PowerHouse Recycling, a marker leader in certified electronics recycling and IT asset management services will advance their relationship with Heafner from Late Models to ARCA and support his efforts this weekend.

“I can’t thank PowerHouse Recycling enough for their faith in me as a race car driver,” he said. “It’s a huge investment for them to take this next leap in my racing endeavors. The car looks great and I’m determined to bring them a finish they can be proud of.”

For Bryant, he is no stranger to working with young, inexperienced drivers but says Heafner displays the patience that will be pivotal to success at a place like Daytona.

“I’m really proud of our lineup for Daytona,” sounded Bryant. “Connor (Hall) is back with us for a second Daytona race and Jacob will make his ARCA Menards Series debut on Saturday. I think Jacob and Connor are a lot alike as they are both relatively quiet drivers but are fierce competitors once they put on those helmets.

“I think Connor will be a good drafting partner for Jacob and vice-versa. We had a lot of speed in our cars at the test and I’m hopeful we can continue that pace this weekend and kick off our 2020 season with some momentum.”

The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire (80 laps | 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2020 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins Fri., Feb. 7 with a one-hour session from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Group qualifying is set for race day, Sat., Feb. 8 at 12:30 p.m. The season-opener for the 68th consecutive ARCA season is set to take the green flag shortly after 4:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.

For more on Jacob Heafner, please like him on Facebook (Heafner95) and follow him on Instagram (@heafner95) and Twitter (@JacobHeafner).

For more on Chad Bryant Racing, please visit ChadBryantRacing.com, like them on Facebook (Chad Bryant Racing) or follow them on Twitter (@ChadBryantRace).

Chad Bryant Racing sets sights on Daytona ARCA test

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.: The season-opening Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire on February 8, 2020, is the ARCA Menards Series’ Super Bowl event and Chad Bryant Racing (CBR) is eyeing one of the most coveted trophies of the season.

To help prepare the Mooresville, N.C.-based team for the first race of the season, the organization will partake in this weekend’s open ARCA Menards Series test session at the 2.5-mile superspeedway with two familiar faces and a promising young rookie.

Chad Bryant Racing will field three automobiles during the two-day test on January 10th and 11th while planning to return to the “World Center of Racing” in a month with at least two entries eyeing the team’s first win of the season.

ARCA Menards Series veteran Tom Hessert III (@tomhessert) will drive the team’s No. 2 Chad Bryant Racing Ford Fusion this weekend. Hessert, a native of Cherry Hill, N.J. is a six-time ARCA winner, four with Cunningham Motorsports, the predecessor of Chad Bryant Racing.

The 33-year-old is a former pole sitter at Daytona and owns three top-five and five top-10 finishes in 11 career starts between 2008 to 2018.

“I am extremely excited to get back to Daytona this weekend,” offered Hessert. “Chad and I are great friends and when he asked me to come test, I jumped at the opportunity.

“It’s kind of a reunion for me, as I spent so much time racing out of that shop with Chad and Paul (Andrews, crew chief and team manager). I hope to be able to lend some of my experience to my teammates this weekend and help prepare them for the race next month.”

Returning to Chad Bryant Racing at Daytona is Hampton, Va. native Connor Hall (@connor_hall77).

An exceptional short track racer – Hall burst onto the ARCA Menards Series scene last February with an impressive showing in his ARCA debut driving the No. 22 Ford Fusion for CBR.

Recovering from a mid-race spin to finish a strong 11th in his first superspeedway race last February, the 22-year-old is thrilled to reunite with Andrews and improve on what they started nearly 12 months ago.

LetLoveLive Animal Rescue will support Hall in his third career ARCA Menards Series start, while Breeden Concrete, Knot Done Yet Sportfishing and Structural Steel Products will serve as associate partners for Daytona.

“I’m extremely happy and fortunate to be back with Chad Bryant Racing,” said Hall. “As always, I’m looking forward to working with Chad (Bryant), Paul (Andrews) and the No. 22 team. The test and next month’s race wouldn’t be possible without LetLoveLive and their initiative, as well as Breeden Concrete, Knot Done Yet Sportfishing and Structural Steel Products. I’m ready to get to work but have some fun too.”

Newcomer Jacob Heafner (@JacobHeafner) will round out the trio of cars this weekend at Daytona for CBR.

Heafner, a native of Dallas, N.C. will turn his first laps in an ARCA Menards Series car this weekend and return to the facility to partake in his series’ debut aboard the No. 77 Ford Fusion in February.

Heafner, 20, efforts will be supported by PowerHouse Recycling, a marker leader in certified electronics recycling and IT asset management services.

The veteran Late Model Stock racer and 2018 Hickory Motor Speedway Late Model champion is eager for his first laps around the historic Daytona high banks.

“I’m so blessed to have this incredible opportunity to drive for Chad Bryant Racing at Daytona,” sounded Heafner. “While I’m very eager to get on track, I understand the magnitude of this race and I’ll be incredibly focused on working with Chad (Bryant) and the rest of my Chad Bryant Racing team to take in as much knowledge as I can, while following the advice and guidance of my teammates.

“Looking forward to a strong weekend of testing and gaining some momentum for the actual race.”

Team owner Chad Bryant, who is also a championship-winning ARCA crew chief says his team lineup for the Daytona test is full of experience and talent – two potent combinations needed to make Daytona successful.

“We’re heading to Daytona and ready to get another year underway,” he said. “I can’t thank all the people on this Chad Bryant Racing team including Paul (Andrews) and Todd (Myers) for their dedication and leadership to bring a strong fleet of cars to the race track.

“Tom is going to be a great asset to assist Connor and Jacob who are not only eager to learn but focused on going fast and turning heads. My goal is to come out of the test with our goals conquered and the bigger picture on the race next month.”

For more on Tom Hessert III, please follow him on Twitter (@tomhessert).

For more on Connor Hall, please like him on Facebook (Connor Hall Racing) and follow him on Instagram (@connorhallweb) and Twitter (@connorhallweb).

For more on Jacob Heafner, please like him on Facebook (Heafner95) and follow him on Instagram (@heafner95) and Twitter (@JacobHeafner).

For more on Chad Bryant Racing, please visit ChadBryantRacing.com, like them on Facebook (Chad Bryant Racing) or follow them on Twitter (@ChadBryantRace).